Cover photo for Robert "Bob" Berlam's Obituary
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1936 Robert 2023

Robert "Bob" Berlam

January 18, 1936 — December 7, 2023

Robert (Bob) Berlam passed away on December 7, 2023, in Greenville, SC.  Bob was born on January 18, 1936, in Providence, RI,.  His parents, Anthony and Hilda Berlam, preceded him in death.  He is survived by his wife, Ann Berlam.  Bob has four children, Paul (Susan) Berlam, Trish Berlam Schara (Chuck), Gary Berlam (Margaret Foley), and Gail Berlam, and five grandchildren. Michael, Ryan, John, Danny, and Ally.  His two brothers, Ronald and Kenneth, preceded him in death.

Bob began his career as a math and science teacher in Cranston, RI, and moved on to being a high school guidance counselor and then special assistant to the Rhode Island Commissioner of Education.  His career in Rhode Island led him to Washington DC where he served as Director of Government Relations for the National Association of State Boards of Education before moving to the Close Up Foundation.  As Managing Director of Close Up, he led a national program for high school juniors and seniors providing a “close up” look at how government functions.

Bob met his future wife, Ann, in Washington.  They moved to Raleigh, NC where he had a successful career with the NC State Employees Association as Executive Director representing all state employees before the NC General Assembly advocating for employee benefits.  After retiring from the State Employees Association, he briefly helped the NC School Boards Association with state legislative issues, and then at UNC-Chapel Hill, he helped the state implement training for all teachers on the use of the Standard Course of Study after its being placed on the Internet in the 1990s.  Bob received the Order of the Long Leaf Pine from the NC Governor and was recognized as Tar Heel of the Week by the Raleigh News and Observer.

During his professional career, he also was a member of the US Air Force.  After active duty, Bob was in the US Air Force Reserves and retired as a Colonel with 40 years of service.  Bob and Ann moved to Naples, FL in retirement.  Bob was very involved in the volunteer community in Naples.  He served as President of Greater Naples Leadership and was a member of several nonprofit organizations including Champions for Learning and Rookery Bay.  With his love of flying Bob was a member of the Naples Civil Air Patrol where he served as Commander.  He also was a member of the Marco Island Civil Air Patrol.  Bob was a private pilot, instrument-rated, with his single-engine airplane.

Bob and Ann recently moved to Greenville, SC to The Woodlands at Furman to be closer to family.  Bob’s post-graduate education included four colleges and universities culminating in a Doctor of Education degree.

A memorial service for Bob will be held Wednesday, December 20, 2023, at 2:00 PM at Trinity Lutheran Church, 421 N. Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601.  Following the service, a reception will be held at the church for visitation with the family.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Bob’s memory to The Anchor Fund Rhode Island College, c/o Donald Tencher, Department of Athletics, Rhode Island College, 600 Mt. Pleasant Ave., Providence, RI 02908 or to the Alzheimer’s Support Network, 1421 Pine Ridge Rd, Suite 100, Naples, FL 34109
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Wednesday, December 20, 2023

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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